Researchers have found from a new study at University of Texas at Arlington that zinc supplements can significantly inhibit the growth of esophageal cancer cells.
Zinc is essential for maintaining human health and protects the esophagus from cancer. However, it hasn’t fully understood that zinc has the ability to prevent cancer in the esophagus. The Zinc deficiency is an important factor in the development and progression of malignancy. Zinc could be efficacious in the prevention and treatment of several cancers, colon, pancreas, oesophageal and head and neck.
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Oesophageal cancer is a cancer of the food pipe. You may feel pain or a burning sensation when you swallow, or your food may stick in your throat or chest.
A harmless narrowing of the oesophagus called a stricture can also make it difficult for you to swallow. Cause indigestion during acid from the stomach reversed up.
The valve between the stomach and oesophagus normally stops this from happening. The valve known as the cardiac sphincter. A tumor that develops here can stop the valve working, causing indigestion.
16,000 esophageal cancer deaths in the United States in 2016
In patients with head and neck cancer, nearly 65% of these patients are zinc deficient based on their cellular zinc concentrations. Natural killer (NK) cell activity and IL-2 generation were also affected adversely. Th2 cytokines were not affected. In our patients, zinc status was a better indicator of tumor burden. Also stage of disease in comparison to the overall nutritional status.
In this study, a team led by Zui Pan, an associate professor of nursing at UTA’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation and esophageal cancer. Researcher discovered that zinc selectively halts the growth of cancer cells. But not normal esophageal epithelial cells. Zinc supplementation should have beneficial effects on cancer by decreasing angiogenesis and induction of inflammatory cytokines while increasing apoptosis in cancer cells. Based on the study, we recommend further studies and propose to utilize zinc in the management and chemoprevention of cancer.
Esophageal cancer is the sixth leading cause of human cancer deaths around the world, according to the National Cancer Institute. The institute estimates that almost 16,000 esophageal cancer deaths in the United States in 2016. The average five-year survival rate is less than 20 percent.
Zinc required in for human 15 mg Zn/day
“Zinc deficiency has been found in many cancer patients,” said Pan, study funded in part by a research grant from the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute. “Both clinical data and animal studies have shown that this mineral is very important for overall body health and for cancer prevention.”
Zinc required in diet of human beings in quantities, approximately 15 mg Zn/day. Found in all body tissues and fluids in relatively high concentrations. With 85 per cent of the whole body zinc in muscle and bone. 11 per cent in the skin and the liver and the remaining in all the other tissues. The average amount of Zn in the adult body is about 1.4-2.3 g. Zinc higher concentrations found in liver followed by pancreas, kidney, heart, pituitary, adrenal, and prostrate.
Zinc is an important element in many proteins. Many enzymes and the absence of zinc makes it impossible for cells to function, she added. Pan said this study could provide a pathway for better esophageal cancer prevention and treatment.
We didn’t know why the same physiological concentrations of zinc inhibit cancer cell growth but not normal cells. Our study, reveals that zinc delays overactive calcium signals in cancer cells are absent in normal cells. Thus zinc selectively inhibits cancer cell growth.” said Pan.
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“It now appears that zinc and calcium can have a cross talk. An insufficient amount of zinc can lead to the development of cancers and other diseases”, Pan said.